Having one child isn’t in my plans but for now my daughter is the only I have. She does have an older brother, however he visits so most of the time it’s me and her. As a baby this was perfect to me. Being the oldest of 4 I knew I wanted my kids spaced out. Those first few months, it was just my daughter and I and it was amazing! I heard that I spoiled her but I can live with that 😉 I don’t believe in spoiling at the baby stage, all babies need love and it’s okay to give it to them. As much as I loved our “alone time” I realized she needs friends her age so she can learn to be social and not so awkward like her mom.
As an introvert at heart, social interaction would start that nervous churn in my tummy. I know it seems easy to just chat up strangers but for me it didn’t work that way. I knew that would have to change after watching how other children responded to each other, especially if they had a sibling at home. It made me feel like I set her back in socialization because I didn’t give her a little sidekick she could grow with. With another baby not being an option, it was time for me to get over my own fear of talking to others so that my daughter would get chances to learn how and enjoy playing with others. She is quite the social butterfly so she made it easy to start this process. Read on for tips about breaking that introverted fear holding you back from making new mom friends and play dates for your little one.
It all starts with a simple greeting. Instead of sitting at the park silently, greet the moms and children that play with your kiddo. It breaks the ice and you never know who you’ll meet so it’s worth a shot. It might seem icky at first but once you start breaking the barriers your mind gives you, you’ll both be open to new opportunities to meet new friends.
Daycare or School
I knew with my daughter being an only child she needs more social interaction than I could give her. I thought of taking her to daycare for one or two days. I heard other parents doing similar things for their children with no siblings and it did wonderful for them. We didn’t find a daycare we liked so I signed her up for early head start. I’m still so grateful that we chose to put her in school a year early. They not only helped her engage with other children but they took us to fun places we could keep going to after school was over. It made it so much easier because we were already in a common place so parents got to know each other as well.
Try New Things Yourself
Our children take cues from us. If we seem shut off and nervous around new people they may pick up on that. If you have some issues being social try new things that will help you breakthrough those obstacles. Joining mom groups online is a great place to start if you’re still shy in person. After that go to the first tip and start with saying hello! It may feel weird at first but soon it will go away and you’ll be more social yourself. Writing is another great outlet that makes you open up in new ways.
Being an introvert for so long I’d grown accustomed to being alone, I thrived in it. Once my daughter was born and a little older I realized that would have to change if I want her to make friends and be social. I made myself try new things such as writing which led me to Pittsburgh Moms Blog, where I met other mommies. I became a fitness instructor forcing me to speak/teach in front of others, which is huge for an introvert. I also became more social in striking up conversations with strangers thanks to these two outlets I’ve started. You can be an introvert at heart but consider opening up a bit if you have an only child. They need interaction with kids their age and they need us to make it happen for them! Do you have any tips on helping an only child be more social? Comment below and share this for a mommy who is looking help her little one socialize with other kids.